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Discussion Starter #1
So, I snatched this 80's Strat up at the Ottawa guitar show on Sunday. When the doors opened, I wandered over to the very back so I could see if anything caught my eye before the crowd steamrolled through. I suppose it was the sparkly blue that caught me (maybe I was a crow in a past life).

I've googled the serial and believe that it is a 1986 Contemporary Standard 22. It's missing the thumb tuners in the bridge and it's currently decked. I plan to just string it up and play it as a hard tail. It might need a new nut. Most obviously, it needs pickups and electronics. I'd like to button it up on the cheap to see if it's a guitar I like instead of dropping a bunch of money into it without knowing.

I plan to do the work myself. Need suggestions on where to get the best deal on pickups, pots, and a switch. I don't particularly care for anything Chinese, so I was looking at Rose pickups in the US, but it seems they aren't taking orders presently. And then I found Alexander Priborra pickups elsewhere which also seem like a good value. Of course, I'd be happy to score a deal on used components too. Or even a loaded pickguard (not sure what would fit a Japanese made Strat though).

So, I better shut up and post pics. I'm happy to receive advice here, this is the first Strat I've owned since around 1999...!




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my 2 cents on the situation.
Before I would spend a dine on anything on the guitar, I would string it up and really see if the neck/action is playable.
Can you tweek the bridge to a playable action on the whole neck?
Are there dead spots/frets along the neck.?
Is the trus rod working?

If you cant get past the play-ability, not much sense in putting money into it.

G.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
my 2 cents on the situation.
Before I would spend a dine on anything on the guitar, I would string it up and really see if the neck/action is playable.
Can you tweek the bridge to a playable action on the whole neck?
Are there dead spots/frets along the neck.?
Is the trus rod working?

If you cant get past the play-ability, not much sense in putting money into it.

G.
Yes. This is 100% logical. I will string it up and see what I think.


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NextGen in Ottawa can supply pots,switch and extra's. Thats a real nice colour and with a little work it will be a great instrument. Anything made in Japan gets my vote. You can try Spaceman music for pickups or complete PG assembly. Good luck with your project.
 

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Before you even consider STRINGING it up, try to find a source on the parts missing from the bridge. I have had experience with a similar era of fender bridge and finding parts is neither a cakewalk, nor is it cheap. Usually if there are small pieces visibly missing, then the guitar was used for parts and may have more missing. A common problem on those bridges are stripped fine tuner holes, and that opens up a whole different problem as then you'll have to tap the hole and put in new inserts. If I were you also, I'd just get the neck modded for a floyd rose nut as well. The locking nuts that came on these are prone to breaking, which would make sense why there are other pieces missing.
That aside, the bridge is actually quite cool, and way better than the standard two point fender trem.
edit. Just saw you said you'd play it as a hard tail. You could get away with no new nut and no fine tuners, but the trem is a real beauty.
 

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No shortage of complete wired excellent quality used pickup assemblies right on this forum for between $150 & $250 all in. Heck, I have a spare one I'd be happy to sell you for $150, mounted in a perloid guard if you want - it has some kind of Fender pickups in it, full-sized pots, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I've found pickups and a wiring harness locally. They are 'Mighty Mite' pickups and I have no idea what the output on them is, so we'll find out when I put them in. My plan is to install the pickups, string it up, set it up, then decide what's next. If I like it, I'll source some better quality pickups and pots and go from there. Some great suggestions here, so thank-you all for the advice so far.
 

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I remember when I was teaching in the eighties these were extremely popular, although nobody seemed to know how to use the locking trem. Students would come in with the nut locked and never seemed to have the wrench, so I would have to tune to them. I always wondered what happened to them all.
 

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A friend of mine had one of the then Modern Strats in the 80s. It had the odd cam lock at the nut, which had some small, fiddly parts and was prone to breaking said parts.



Sweet guitar though.
 

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Don't go for loaded pickguard, you'll have issues fitting in to the bridge. Floyd cut pickguards are no good either.

Frets on the Net makes parts for the Fender Japan trem systems. Yours is a System 1. he's got the fine tuning screws ($28 for 6) and trem arm ($27) for sale. Link: Fender

I bought from him a looooong time ago to replace exactly what you're trying to replace, along with a trem arm, and it's top notch quality.
 

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Yo.
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A friend of mine had one of the then Modern Strats in the 80s. It had the odd cam lock at the nut, which had some small, fiddly parts and was prone to breaking said parts.



Sweet guitar though.
That's a really rare system 3 trem system. Amazing engineering, but nobody used it correctly. The trem arm has two hex keys that adjust everything on the bridge (one is under the cap on the tip). Snap a string and this thing won't detune. Want to turn it into a hardtail? Turn the trem arm clockwise until it stops and remove the arm to lock the floating action. I have a HH strat with the same system, everything intact, and will probably never part with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Finally had some time to put everything together. The good news: it was easy to set up nicely, it works just fine without the tremolo & fine tuners (I don't use a tremolo anyway), and it sounds like a Strat! The bad news, I'm not sure I like playing Strats still. The headstock is way out there, and the neck is much thinner than a Gibson (all stuff I already knew I suppose). :) Of course, it's nice to have one in my collection. There are certain sounds that only come from a Strat.





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